"For anyone thinking about starting a blog, the time has literally never been better. Whether you lean towards creative writing, cosmetic tips & hauls or keeping it strictly business the internet is stacked with tools, tips and tricks to launch you to success with minimal effort. It doesn’t have to be a minefield, although it might feel like that at the start. I’ve pulled together some of my top suggestions for getting up and running, which will serve you well as you carve out your path to blog-ful success!
Before you get going with any writing pursuit, it’s important at the outset to sit down and spend some time planning out your overall strategy and objectives for your blog. What kind of blog do you want to create? What questions are you planning to answer for your reader? What problems will you seek to solve? Ultimately you need to know your why before you go any further.
I established my first blog www.unqualifiedtocomment.com as a means to overcome the vice grips that imposter syndrome had on my life, so everything I wrote was personally motivated and developed as a means to improve my self-esteem and confidence! And wow...it worked.
My second blog, which is on my company website (www.tamarahoward.com/the-blog/), serves a very different purpose. I use it to generate helpful content for my bullseye customers as well as boosting my website performance & ranking by driving SEO (more about this later…)
So start by defining your “why” through looking at your strategy, objectives, audience, tone of voice etc. as all blogs; business, personal, leisure or opinion will all have different demands and requirements.
Wordpress.com / wordpress.org / LinkedIn / Blogger.com...there is no end to the options out there when you are trying to figure out where to host your blog site. Do some digging on the different options (& pricing!) available to you, and don’t forget about this fabulous blog site on Women’s Inspire Network. This is a fantastic way for members like you to experiment with your style or content before you commit fully.
Now, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Writing, for most of us, takes time. You will likely need to do some planning, research, information gathering, image selection, content development etc. so from the outset be clear about just how much time you can dedicate to your blog. If you over-commit you are going to lose momentum very quickly.
Decide how much time you can dedicate and from there start to think about a Content / Conversation Calendar.
There are two types of content that you might want to develop:
Reactive: This is where you respond to a current hot topic e.g. #MeToo or #BeKind and dedicate an article to this. These generally aren’t planned in advance and have to be turned around quickly in such a way that they are current and timely for the associated public conversation.
Evergreen: These are issues or topics that will have fairly-permanent relevance and will bolster your SEO on a steadier, more consistent basis over time.
A planned calendar of topics/subjects will be a huge help in keeping some structure on your writing. When you plan your calendar, give some thought to seasonal / topical events e.g. March has Daffodil Day or June has World Blood Donor Day. Are there any days on the horizon that might inspire a relevant blog post for you or your business? Plan ahead! Pre-writing your articles is an excellent idea too, if you find yourself with a glut of time one day.
So, this is the secret sauce that seems to do the trick for me, but when I sit down to write a blog post I never, ever sit down to write a blog post. If I did that I would never get anything done because my mind would be finding every excuse in the world to not sit down to write a blog post. I trick my mind into being productive by telling myself I am just going to define the headings and then “fill in the gaps”.
So here is how I plan each blog post:
What you lack in discipline you can make up for in productivity hacks!
Keywords: Make sure you are including relevant keywords throughout your posts (title, headings, body copy, conclusion). Be careful not to stuff your page, though, as Google will negatively score your site if it picks up on keyword stuffing. The best tool I have found for keyword inspo is www.wordstream.com/keywords
Rename all your images before you put them up on your site. Call them something relevant to your business, blog post or blog topic.
If you’re using video please use text as well to describe what is in the video. A little summary will help your SEO but will also be useful for any reader who can’t interact with video content.
Include good quality links - but not too many! Think about internal links that cross-reference other pages on your website too.
Get social & share on your own channels. Ask people to like & share if they enjoyed.
Keep it regularly updated with fresh content.
Here are my favourite resources for all things bloggery goodness. Dig in, enjoy...and what’s even better; they all have superb free offerings so won’t cost you the moon and stars!
Go forth and write your blog!
You have your plan, you have your resources and you know what you want to say...now all you have to do is say it! And...don’t forget to always include your bio at the end of your blog posts...here’s mine...
Tamara is the self-proclaimed Unqualified Blogger. She is a Marketing Communications / Brand Consultant and owner of Tamara Howard Communications. She is available for speech writing, tattoo conventions and karaoke parties or would love to work with you on your latest marketing or creative challenges.
Sign up for Tamara’s Content Development Course and get set up your road to success in only 6 weeks! https://tamarahoward.com/2020/02/24/6-week-content-development-course/